Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tragic Tornado Fatality In Rayne, LA

A 21 year old mother was killed this morning when a tornado caused a tree to  crash into her home in Rayne, LA.  She was reportedly laying on top of her young child trying to shelter her from the impending storm when this took place.  The above image (click to enlarge) shows that and related storm reports from the immediate area today.

Media reports indicate extensive damage to 50+ homes in the area.  Below are a couple of photos captured on Twitter from within the city limits of Rayne:

A State Highway Patrol trooper is quoted as saying "there are homes off of their foundations..." in Rayne. This has obvious implications (as to potential tornado intensity), of course, the question is whether or not the homes were manufactured, standard frame construction, etc.  

Below is a video showing damage in the Rayne and surrounding area:

Here are some additional damage photographs in Rayne from

Below is an image taken from the Lake Charles radar (courtesy of Brett Adair) when the storm was about 25 miles West of Rayne, shortly before 9am CST this morning:

The left half of the image shows reflectivity (rain, hail, etc.) while the right half shows wind motion.  Remember that the green colors on the wind motion image show winds blowing toward the radar (which is to the left of the image) and red colorations show winds blowing away from the radar.  You can see the pronounced rotation as indicated by the radar when the storm was Southwest of Jennings.

Below is another image from the same radar about 45 minutes later, as the circulation passed through the Rayne area:

Preliminary NWS Storm Survey results:  EF2 damage (winds of 111-135 mph).  The tornado cut a path as wide as 300 yards, and was on the ground for approximately 5 miles.  More to come on Sunday...

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